Default line: J’Marcus Webb wins battle at left tackle
BY MARK POTASH firstname.lastname@example.org August 6, 2012 10:42PM
Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice admitted that J’Marcus Webb (above) won the left-tackle battle by default. | Charles Rex Arbogast~AP
Updated: September 8, 2012 6:20AM
BOURBONNAIS — J’Marcus Webb is the winner of the battle at left tackle with Chris Williams but only until further notice. Bears offensive coordinator Mike Tice acknowledged it was by default.
‘‘I thought one guy would separate himself and jump out there, but that didn’t really happen,’‘ Tice said after Monday’s practice. ‘‘So let’s keep the status quo and see where the games take us.’’
It’s up to Webb, a seventh-round draft pick in 2010, to establish himself. And it seems like Tice’s patience is wearing thin as he runs out of ways to motivate the 6-7, 333-pound Webb.
‘‘We hope that a guy in his third year, Webb, will step up and mature as a football player and as a person and get better and show us that this means something to him,’’ Tice said.
Gabe Carimi’s slow start physically in his first practices at right tackle helped force Tice’s hand. When Carimi’s rehabilitated knee became sore, Tice moved Williams to right tackle to share first-team reps with Carimi. Williams is the backup at both tackle spots.
‘‘We had to get somebody over there that had some experience to take some reps off of Gabe because he was in a little bit of a bad way there for a couple of days,’’ Tice said.
‘‘I wasn’t going to put [rookie] James Brown or Cory Brandon over there to protect Jay Cutler. We have enough trouble doing it with the [starters]. So that kind of [cut short] the competition.’’
Tice said Carimi responded to the lighter workload.
‘‘We know that Carimi is a very good player, and it was just a matter of how long it was going to take for him to bounce back,’’ Tice said. ‘‘He had a rough start, but he settled down and tells me he feels about 80 percent better, and that’s a good thing. He put together four good practices in a row.’’
The upshot is that even if Webb doesn’t respond, Tice is confident the offensive line will get the job done.
‘‘First and foremost, we’re going to scheme,’’ he said. ‘‘I’m an offensive line coach. We’re going to make sure we’re not embarrassing anybody or hurting our quarterback. I’m very comfortable with all the schemes we have. If we have a guy that we’re not matching up well against, we’re going to make sure that guy has two guys on him throughout the course of the game. That’s the way it’s going to be.’’